It’s that time of year when I share my favorite heroes and heroines from the novels I have rated 5-stars. Noble men who overcome tortured pasts, flaws and the odds against them to pursue love and heroines who persist against great obstacles to be with the man to whom they would give their heart—strong, intelligent women of character. Every one a worthy hero and heroine. The best are set deep in history. Here are my favorites, my Christmas gift to you! This just might be your next year’s reading list! See it here.
Not surprising, food was a major part of a medieval Christmas. The holiday came during a period after the crops had been harvested and there would be little to do on a farm. If animals were not to be kept over the winter, now would also be a good time for them to be slaughtered for their food. This could leave a bounty of food that would make Christmas the perfect time to hold a feast. See More.
Romances set in the Victorian era, generally from 1837 (the year Victoria became Queen) to 1901 (the year of her death) are the subject of this list. The common perception of the period is that the Victorians were “prudish, hypocritical, stuffy and narrow-minded”. But these perceptions are not always accurate, particularly when the British characters were traveling and learning much about other cultures, as you will see in these romances. See it here.
It takes talent to write a great historical romance novel, but to write three in a row and make them all worthy reads is a challenge. Of course, I recognize this omits some wonderful single titles and some great series, but if you like to read trilogies, as I do, see my list of the ones I recommend here.
By 1158, Somerled’s dominion covered 25,000 square miles and more than 500 islands. North to south, his control extended 200 miles from the Isles of Lewis and Skye in the north to the Isle of Man in the south. His kingdom was unified by the broad roads of the sea and protected by his many castles of which there were fourteen in his time (errors in Internet sources notwithstanding). See the post HERE.
Rogue's Holiday has won the 2020 Kindle Book Award for best romance!
It's book 5 in the Agents of the Crown series of Regency Romances, the story of Robert Powell, the bad boy of the Powell family. Robbie's work as a spy saves the Cabinet ministers from a gruesome death and wins him accolades from George IV. As a reward, the king grants him a baronetcy and a much-deserved holiday at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton where Robbie thinks to indulge in brandy, cards, good horseflesh and women.
But when Muriel, Dowager Countess of Claremont, learns of Sir Robert’s intended destination, she begs a favor…to watch over an “errant child” who is the grandniece of her good friend living in the resort town. Little does Robbie know that Miss Chastity Reynolds is no child but a beautiful hoyden who is seemingly immune to his charms.
Chastity lives in the shadow of her mother and sisters, dark-haired beauties men admire. Her first Season was a failure but, as she will soon come into a family legacy, she has no need to wed. When she first encounters Sir Robert, she dubs him The Rogue, certain he indulges in a profligate lifestyle she wants no part in.
In Brighton, Robbie discovers he is being followed and senses the conspirators who had planned to murder the Cabinet have discovered his identity. Worse, they know the location of Chastity's residence.
See the book on Amazon and on Goodreads.
Who among us ladies hasn’t dreamed of a knight in shining armor? A valiant hero living in a time when valor prevailed and a woman of character who loved him. (I did say we were dreaming, right?) These historical novels will take you there.
Since the medieval period in European history spanned the 5th century to the 15th century, all the stories on my list take place during that time and all have been rated 4, 4.5 or 5 stars. So, enjoy The Best Medieval Romances list.
Join my readers group on Facebook where you can win great stuff! Right now there's a contest going on for those who post a review of my new release, Summer Warrior! See the FB group here.
Hares and rabbits existed together in medieval England, however, the rabbit was a rare beast and much sought after for both its meat and its fur. And, unlike the hare, the rabbit is not believed to be native to Britain, but was deliberately introduced. (There are no written records of them in Britain before Norman times, the 11th century.)
I have several novels in which the characters hunt for hares. Rogue Knight and Summer Warrior (my most recent novel), are two of them. Rogue Knight is set in Yorkshire in 1069-70 when William the Conqueror came north to claim Northumbria. He engaged in a terrifying campaign we know today as the “Harrying of the North”, causing the deaths of as many as 100,000 people. Summer Warrior is set in the Scottish Highlands and Isles and in England in the 12th century. See more.
In Summer Warrior, book 1 in The Clan Donald Saga (my new release!), David, King of Scots, invites Somerled to take part in a hunt in the woods near Irvine where the king is holding court. As the morning of the hunt arrives, Somerled observes,
The day presented all they could hope for in weather, the sky nearly cloudless and the leaves on the trees that had changed with autumn were ablaze with red, yellow and gold. The air, too, spoke of autumn, being dry and crisp.
While the king and his guests break their fast on the riverbank, as was the custom if the day was fair, the huntsmen went forth to seek out the mature stags with great antlers. Somerled and Ragnhild, the Princess of Man, have brought their bows and quivers of arrows, eagerly awaiting the hunt.
Many kinds of dogs and hounds might be used in a hunt in the 12th century. Edward of Norwich, the second Duke of York, who wrote medieval English hunting manuals, listed five types of medieval dogs used in aristocratic hunting: the spaniel, the mastiff, the running hound, the alaunt and the greyhound. See More.
Book 1 in the Clan Donald Saga is here and available for preorder at a discount until release day, October 7.
Somerled’s parentage was noble, of the Kings of Dublin, the royal house of Argyll and the great Ard Ri, the High Kings of Ireland. But when the Norse invaded Argyll and the Isles, his family’s fortunes fell with those of his people. When all hope seemed lost, he rose from the mists of Morvern to rally the Gaels, the Scots and the Irish.
Sweeping across Argyll and the Isles like a fast-moving storm, brilliant in strategy and fearless in battle, Somerled began retaking his ancestral lands, driving away the invaders and freeing the people from the Norse stranglehold. In doing so, he would win the title Somerle Mor, Somerled the Mighty, Lord of Argyll, Kintyre and Lorne and, eventually, Lord of the Isles.
The unforgettable saga of the Norse-Gael who forged the Kingdom of the Isles and won he heart of a Norse king’s daughter. See it on Amazon. Read an excerpt.
This is my "author blog" that will feature personal updates, what I'm working on, News and other features related to my novels, even some posts from my other blog, Historical Romance Review.